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Found 6 results

  1. The end of a very difficult season for Simona De Silvestro and the Lotus HVM Racing team. De Silvestro struggled with over-boost issues on the engine of her #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car from the start of the race. We had over-boost issues right away and started to work on it," said Tom Brown the team's technical director. "It's an issue that plagued us all weekend. We had no pulling power and that was not a good situation to be in at this track." Keith Wiggins, team owner, felt the situation with the engine was not something the team could safely overcome. "The engine had issues with over-boost making it difficult to maintain pace in traffic," he said. "We felt it better to come in and not affect the outcome of the race. We were pretty sure that we couldn't go the distance so it made no sense for us to put Simona in a situation that could get her or one of the other competitors into trouble." This has been De Silvestro's most difficult season with tonight's finale indicative of what she and the team have had to struggle with. "It was a frustrating season, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger," she said. "We worked really hard to get the car ready and hoped that we would be competitive. I feel bad for the team. They worked crazy hours replacing two engines this weekend and it would have been nice to have been able to finish the season on a high note. We've learned a lot this season and have to take that into what we expect to be a much better year next year." Shane Seneviratne, team manager, reflected on the season. "It's a disappointing end to a disappointing season, but that's what it is. We just have to look forward to next year. A big thanks to the hard work and dedication of the HVM Racing crew. They kept on working hard despite all the problems we've had throughout the year. I sincerely want to thank them for all their hard work, Simona for hanging in there, and our sponsors and fans for all their support." The team will take a few days off before moving their focus toward the 2013 IZOD IndyCar season. Simona and the team would truly like to thank their fans for the outpouring of support this season.
  2. A Good Drive for Simona Despite an Early Finish The Grand Prix of Baltimore was one of those races that kept you sitting on the edge of your seat the whole time. “What a race!” was on everyone’s lips when the checker dropped. Nine caution flags and twelve lead changes along with crashes and spins. Lotus driver Simona De Silvestro (#78 Lotus HVM Racing) was hoping this would be a good day for her, as the weather forecast was calling for rain. Unfortunately, the heavy rains did not come in time. Only light sprinkles covered the track, and only for a few laps. And even though De Silvestro had to start from the back of the grid again for today’s race (because of a 10-grid penalty for an unapproved engine change), she did manage to move up all the way to 14th place at halfway through the race. De Silvestro and her #78 Lotus machine drove a good consistent race and stayed out of trouble, while other cars were busy getting caught in the action. But, on lap 38, she did what many other drivers had done, she got into the wall coming out of the famous chicane. That ended her race and put her in 22nd position. There was disappointment on everyone’s face in the Lotus HVM Racing pit box. After a long quiet moment, De Silvestro spoke: “Well, I’m disappointed because I made a mistake. I hit the curb in the chicane and it ended our day. Until then it was kind of a crazy race. We made some positions; we don’t know where we would have finished. This time it’s kind of my fault. It’s a shame because we were doing really well. Now you just go to the next one I guess.” Keith Wiggins, Lotus HVM team owner had high hopes for a good result since De Silvestro drives this track so well. "As the race turned out we had a pretty good opportunity," he said. "Like everyone else, we just needed to stay out of trouble. We looked quite good early. We had a solid strategy that was playing out, but we weren't able to stay clean until the end. It's just unfortunate that it ended that way." HVM team manager, Shane Seneviratne was disappointed as well considering how well De Silvestro has been driving this season. "It's obviously disappointing," he said. "Simona has driven great all year. She made a mistake here that put her out of the race. We had a couple of incidents earlier on, but they were small ones. The team changed the front wing out and we recovered from it. I'm disappointed for all the sponsors that are here and want to thank them for all their support. We'll do our best at Fontana." Tom Brown, team technical director for Lotus HVM Racing agrees that De Silvestro had a good shot at a very strong finish. "It was becoming an interesting race," he said. "Multiple strategies were being played out among the teams. We were looking very good. Sim was pushing hard and got bit by the chicane around mid-way. As always we pushed and worked hard all weekend to keep maximizing what we had." Olivier Picquenot, IndyCar Manager for Lotus Racing, commented: “Unfortunately Simona had to start from the back of the grid again after a misfortune in qualifying and a second 10-grid penalty for the same engine change. She had a good start and stayed with the group but broke her front wing from contact with Takuma Sato. That changed the strategy and the chance to stay with the pack. We hoped for rain at the start to give us a chance to be back with Simona’s driving style in the rain. After a few accidents from other competitors and some restarts, she gained some precious positions and was running with the same pace as the front runners even with the second front wing broken from touching Dario Franchitti in turn one, at a restart. For once, everybody was happy to see Simona/ Lotus HVM racing with the possibility to finish better than 15 and take some crucial points before the end of the season, and maybe have the chance to gain some championship positions and qualify for next year’s leader circle. Unfortunately, on Lap 38, Simona was airborne at the chicane and landed in the wall as well as many other drivers. But that’s racing.” The end of the 75-lap race was just as exciting as the whole race itself with Ryan-Hunter Reay (#28 - Andretti Autosport) taking the lead on a restart with just two laps to go. Ryan Briscoe (#2 –Team Penske) finished second followed by Simon Pagenaud (#77- Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports). The Lotus HVM Racing Team will be heading back west for the season finale in Fontana on Saturday, September 15th. The race will be televised by NBC Sports Network at p.m. (ET) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network on SiriusXM Channel 94 (XM) and 211 (Sirius) Race statistics Race distance: 150 miles Cautions: 9 for 24 laps Laps: 75 Lead changes: 12 among 7 drivers Time of race: 2:09:02 Average speed: 71.132
  3. Lotus’s Simona de Silvestro had to start at the back of the grid for Sunday’s Californian round following an unapproved engine change, but bounced back to gain ten positions in the race. Good strategy and perfect pit stops made a big difference for the Swiss driver and her Lotus HVM Racing team during the action-filled race at the Infineon Raceway. After 85 laps, De Silvestro finished in 17th position. She performed a nice pass on Ed Carpenter’s eponymous #20 car near the end of the race. Simona de Silvestro: “I guess P17 is okay; I think it was all we could get. We’re still getting passed like we’re standing still on the straightaways, but I think it was a good weekend. We kept our heads during the race and towards the end the yellows starting coming out. That really helped us with our fuel mileage. It was a good race.” Keith Wiggins, team owner: “The team did a good job. Simona drove a good solid race, so we were able to make the best of it. Our windows were tight on fuel, but we managed to keep it within the three, so that was good. It was a good result for the circumstances we had. We don't want to get too excited about 17th, but I think it was the best result we could get today with what we had.” Vincent Pereme, Lotus’s motorsport engine manager: “We still need to improve, together with the team and the driver, the way we are using our push-to-pass as it seems that we are not using it in the best possible way. We are well aware that our motor is clearly down on power compared to the competitors, but we will keep fighting.”
  4. Lotus HVM Racing unable to utilise strategy as the Mid-Ohio Indy race runs green from flag to flag The day in Mid-Ohio started out with the IndyCar warm-up session being delayed because of pouring rain, thunder and lightning, and a few power outages. When the Indy cars did go out to warm up, Lotus driver Simona De Silvestro took advantage of the wet track and clocked the fourth best time of the session. Unfortunately for the Lotus HVM Racing team, the weather cleared, and by the time the green flag flew, the Indy cars were running on a dry track. Ambient temperature was 76 degrees with a relative humidity of 83 percent. The race was somewhat of a repeat of the last race at Edmonton. For the second time in a row, the whole race ran green from flag to flag. Without any cautions, the Lotus HVM Racing team was not able to apply strategy and Simona de Silvestro (#78) finished the race in 23rd position. However, the Lotus car showed great reliability and despite everything, Simona did put in some good lap times. “It’s really disappointing,” De Silvestro said. “We weren’t able to use the strategy that we wanted because there weren’t any yellows. It doesn’t matter how hard I drive, without a yellow we can’t get anywhere.” Keith Wiggins, HVM team owner, had this to say: “It’s a bit of the same story as the last race. Unfortunately, it went green the whole way, so that meant that we were pretty well forced into a full-fuel three-stop strategy of the other manufacturers. That didn’t really give us any options to do a strategy, so we ended up with what we had. Her first stint was pretty impressive. The lap times she did were in the 68’s when we were on our own, the same as the leaders. But there’s not much else we can do.” HVM Technical Director Tom Brown: “Just another tough one with it going green all the way. We tried to pull some strategy but we needed the yellows to pull it off. Strategy is one of the few tools we have in the bag and we can’t use it. But, it is good to see green-flag racing all the way. Hopefully, one of these days, we’ll get what we need.” Director of Motorsports for Lotus, Claudio Berro commented: “Lotus will continue to develop the engine for Simona. We want to do our very best for her, so that she and the Lotus HVM Racing team can show some progress and achieve better results in the upcoming races.” Over the wall One thing we can say about the Lotus HVM Racing team is that their pit stops are always fast and well done. The Lotus HVM crew takes pride in doing great pit stops. They practice every time De Silvestro comes into the pits during on-track sessions. Front end mechanic, Mike Howells, better known as “Miguel” started going over the wall to change tires, a year ago, here in Mid-Ohio. “After doing this over and over, it becomes habit, he said. We rely on muscle memory for the right moves. Our instinct guides us. Our whole team works well together because we’re a family. We’re Simona’s racing family.” Aside from changing Simona’s inside rear tire at record speed, Miguel is also the guy who straps Simona into her #78 Lotus machine, when the Swiss Miss gets into the car. “My job is to make sure she is as comfortable as possible and strapped in safely, said Miguel. I figure if she is comfortable, she can focus totally on her driving. We have this quiet ritual, Simona and I, when I’m strapping her down. I do the same thing, the same way, every time. We’ve gained trust in each other over the years.” The top three finishers for today’s IZOD IndyCar race were Scott Dixon (a fourth win in a row at Mid-Ohio for #9 Target Chip Ganassi), followed by Will Power (#12 – Team Penske), and Simond Pagenaud (#77 – Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports). The Lotus HVM Racing Team will be racing next at the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on 26 August at the raceway in Sonoma. Race statistics Time of race: 1:39:48 Cautions: None Lead changes: 2 Average Speed: 115.179 mph
  5. Iowa's long draught came to an end today as a severe thunderstorm hit the Iowa Speedway around 5:45 p.m., pushing back the start of the Iowa Corn Indy 250 to around 9:45 p.m. today. The rain and the late start didn't put a damper on the hopes of the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing team. The team has struggled on ovals this season and was eager to get their first oval finish of the season. Not only did they finish, they had their second-best finish of the season. The race saw some attrition, starting with a blown engine by pole-sitter, Dario Franchitti on the warm up lap. Cars continued to struggle throughout the evening, but Lotus HVM Racing driver Simona De Silvestro pushed hard, drove a consistent race and stayed out of trouble. De Silvestro was happy with the final result. "I'm pretty happy with 14th", she said, "that's our second best finish this year, and it was on an oval. I think there was a lot of survival going on out there, but I think we had a really strong race car. It was really comfortable out there so I could stay in the tow of other people. A big thanks to the team, they kept working really hard every time. Even when we know it's going to be a tough weekend we always hope for the best. I think today we had a pretty good result at the end. Hopefully we'll get some improvements for the road courses and start sneaking into the top-ten. " Team owner Keith Wiggins was pleased with the outcome as well. "I think we should be quite happy," he said. "Bottom line is she did a great race. She got some more confidence and practice on the oval. Obviously we were down on power so she suffered a bit in traffic, but with the momentum when she was up to speed and we were doing the same lap times as most of the field, which is really good. I'm happy for the team and with the car setup and happy for Simona. We've just got to get a few more horses." Shane Seneviratne, team manager, is already looking ahead. "I'm glad we finished the race," he said. "Simona did a great job. Everything held up. Hats off to the crew on the pit stops. We're looking forward to Toronto." The team heads back to Indianapolis tomorrow looking forward to next weekend at home. The team travels next to Toronto for the Honda Indy Toronto on July 8th at 1:00 p.m. ET. The race will air on ABC.
  6. Best Finish of the Season so far for Lotus HVM Racing Lotus driver Simona de Silvestro (#78 – Lotus HVM Racing) scored her best season finish in Sunday’s Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. After starting at the back of the field because of an engine change penalty, she’d worked her way up to 13th position by the time the checker flag flew. “I think we can be pretty happy because we finished the race,” said the Swiss driver. “The guys worked really hard the whole weekend just to get the car turned around. We had a really strong racecar; we just have to work on the engine side. It’s still not where we want it to be. I hope we’ll get some updates for the next couple of races because we really need it.” Simona drove a solid race and kept up with the rest of the field. Strategy and good driving were the keys to Lotus HVM Racing 's great finish. The team engineers called for an early pitstop on lap 11, setting the stage for De Silvestro’s race. The She ran as high as 11th at one point, and was running 13th when the team completed their second pitstop of the day on lap 37. Lotus HVM Racing team owner, Keith Wiggins was pleased with the team's performance. "It was hard work for a 13th place finish," he said, "but on the good side, the crew did a really good job on the strategy even though we had less fuel consumption than the other guys. Simona drove a really great intelligent race. The reliability was better, so that’s a step forward and if we can get a bit more horsepower then we'll be looking good." Shane Seneviratne, Lotus HVM Racing team manager was excited about the final result. "Finally we got a good race under our belt," he said. "Simona did a great job, the crew did a great job and we had a really good car. Lotus has stepped up a little bit, so thanks to everyone involved. We're looking forward to moving this program forward."
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